Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1915 (2)

She Had a Question, 1915 (2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 01, 2010

The girls from the Young Woman’s Journal are still asking questions that inspire the same answers. Did they really think that this time Catherine Hurst would advise them to kiss promiscuously, court constipation, and shun their beauty sleep? From 1915 —


“Patience.” – If you do not love the young man, or if he is not necessary to your happiness, do not marry him. Marriage without love is generally a failure.


“Cheney.” – Your proposition would not be objectionable under perfect conditions, but as we live today, I could not advise it.


“Clara” and “Rhoda.” – (1) Girls should not permit young men to kiss them good night at the gate. (2) If you do not wish to go out with the young man, it is certainly proper to refuse. (3) The young man should ask at what time he may call.


I am to take part in a Lincoln program. What would be a good story to tell? – Alma.

Any of the following incidents are very good and appropriate. They can be obtained at the Deseret Sunday School Union or Deseret News Book Store. Price 50 cents. “The Perfect Tribute”; “He Knew Lincoln”; “Courage of the Commonplace”; “The Lifted Bandage”; “The Toy Shop”; “The Sleeping Sentinel.”


“Felicia.” – A wedding announcement is sent out as soon as possible after the ceremony is performed; always on the same day. They should all be prepared ready for mailing, a day or two beforehand. “At home” cards can be enclosed with the announcement.


“J.M.S.” – To clean your velvet or plush, invert a hot flat iron, put over it a thickness of wet muslin, lay on this the plush, wrong side next to the muslin, and brush gently as it steams, drawing it over the iron. 2. Bathe the feet several times a day, in a weak solution of alum or salt water. Then dust lightly with talcum powder. Change the hose twice a day.


“Olive.” – 1. Rub your eyebrows with pure vaseline. 2. Hold the skin taut, and rub well into the scar, sweet oil, cold cream or cocoanut butter. Do this several times a day. 3. After washing and drying the face rub with a chamois or silk handkerchief. This will correct the “shiny” appearance. 4. Buttermilk is very good for some skins, for others it is too irritating. Sweet milk is better for you, perhaps. Just before retiring wash the face and neck well with fairly hot water and a bland soap, then apply the milk-wash and let it dry on. In the morning use very cold water on the face.


“Gem State Girl.” – Massage the dark circles with a little peroxide cream. Go to bed early and get your “beauty sleep.”


“Katherine.” – If the young man appeals to you, is a member of the same church as yourself, and while in your home town was “perfectly agreeable,” it would be quite proper to correspond with him. Your ideals and ambitions are quite commendable.


In whose name should the wedding invitations be sent, and is the groom expected to pay any of the expenses? – Imagene.

They should be issued in the name of the bride’s parents, or, if she be an orphan, in the name of her guardian, relation or friend, who gives her the wedding. All expenses are paid by the bride’s family. The groom does not bear any expense, except the fee to the person who marries them. He furnishes the ring and bouquet for the bride.


“Hope.” (1) No, there is no danger. (2) Most people can.


When a young couple are to marry, is it proper for the parents of either to give a bundle shower to them? – M.M.D.

The shower is given to the young lady, and it is perfectly proper for the mother or sister of the bridegroom, to give a shower to his affianced wife.


“Troubled One.” – Send stamped addressed envelope for personal answer.


“Alice” – We certainly do not advise the playing of games on the Sabbath. After returning from an evening meeting, the time can be pleasantly spent discussing the discourse or talk that you have just heard, or some other interesting topic. Singing or music appropriate to the day may be enjoyed. Try to cultivate the habit of conversing intelligently upon subjects that are worth while; that will increase your knowledge, broaden your view of mankind in general, and of events that are transpiring in the world today. Your “Bee Hive” work ought to furnish many interesting conversations.


Can you suggest anything as a disinfectant to keep away flies, insects, etc.? – Mrs. M.G.

If you will keep in every room and every drawer, little silk or muslin bags filled with dried herbs which you can gather during the summer and autumn days when the flowers and leaves are at their full maturity, you will discover they are invaluable as a disinfectant, and the odor is extremely delightful. The strange scent of rue will keep away flies and other like insects, and it is not disagreeable to keep in the house the year round.


“Miriam” – (1) If you expect to see the young man soon, you can extend your acknowledgments at this meeting. Otherwise, thank him by telephone. (2) It would be better to have a typewritten copy. Do not roll when sending.


“Rex” – A girl of sixteen is too young to receive such attentions. (2) You should go with girls only, unless it be ocean or lake bathing, and then under proper chaperonage.


How can I clean my lace yoke? – Julia.

Use any white shoe paste – not liquid. Rub paste on lace, let dry, then rub off.


“Armeada” – There are several successful home-made fireless cookers. One kind: Take a tight box or old trunk with a tight-fitting cover or lid; fill with hay. Make small nests that stone jars will fit in, as the jars hold the heat longer. Bring the food to the boiling point on the stove or gas, then remove to the hay box without lifting the lid. Cover the box tightly, and put cushion or old carpet on top.

Another way: Take a fifty-pound lard can and pack with excelsior, hay or straw, and make a hole in the center for the cooking utensil. To cook beans, soak over night, bring to the boiling point in a tight lid pail, while you are cooking breakfast; put the pail in the excelsior, put a cushion over that, and the can lid on weighted down. Do not uncover until your dinner is ready, when you will have a nice dish of hot beans.


Why are so many weddings solemnized in June? – Abigail.

The ancient Romans were the first to adopt the month of June as sacred to hymen, the god of marriage. They held that June weddings were apt to be happier than those contracted in any other month in the year, especially if the day chosen were that of the full moon, or when the sun and moon were in conjunction. The month of may was considered very unlucky, and those married in this month would come under the influence of spirits adverse to happy households. The Christians, in the middle ages, still retained these ancient marriage customs; and even today, many think the month of June the most propitious for marriage. All nature seems to be at its best in June.


“Genevieve.” – Send stamped addressed envelope, and I will mail you design and instruction for crochet violet insertion and edging.


Who originated the “Mothers’ Pension Law,” and when was the first law passed? – Mrs. Jane W.

Judge Henry Neil of Illinois, formulated and pushed through the legislature of that state the first mothers’ pension law, in 1911. Today twenty-five states have adopted this system. Judge Neil advocates the mothers’ pension system being taken over by the public school system, rather than the pension being paid through the juvenile courts as at present.


Did Venus have a favorite flower or bird? – Miami.

Venus, in Roman mythology, he goddess of beauty and love, held sacred the rose, myrtle, and apple. Among birds, the dove, sparrow and swan were her favorites.


What is meant by “The Lion’s Share?” – Jack.

All or most. The lion in Aesop’s fable hunts with the other beasts. In dividing the spoils he claims four quarters.


I wish very much to study ancient history in connection with the Bible. Can you give any suggestions as to the author of a history, or an outline to follow? It is impossible to attend church school. – Bessie.

“Living Messages of the Books of the Bible.” By Campbell-Morgan, publishers, Flemming and Co., New York.


“Miss M.A.” – To correct pimples, do not eat rich foods. Let your diet consist mostly of green vegetables and fruits. Your blood is sluggish and needs thinning. Avoid constipation.



  1. Mothers’ Pension Law. With that date, that sounds like a precursor to the Social Security System. This encyclopedia entry from the Chicago Historical Society seems to agree.

    Comment by Researcher — July 1, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  2. Thanks for that, Researcher. I wondered what Mother’s Pension Laws were.

    I love these gems of wisdom sprinkled in amongst all the directions for talcum and sweet milk and rue: “Try to cultivate the habit of conversing intelligently upon subjects that are worth while; that will increase your knowledge, broaden your view of mankind in general, and of events that are transpiring in the world today.” Wonderful!

    Comment by David Y. — July 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  3. So, playing guess what (“Hope.” (1) No, there is no danger. (2) Most people can.) refers to would not be an acceptable Sunday activity?

    Comment by Moniker Challenged — July 1, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  4. “Clara” and “Rhoda.” – (1) Girls should not permit young men to kiss them good night at the gate.

    This explains why I never dated any girls who lived in houses with fenced front yards–no gate.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 2, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  5. Re#3 Hope was asking if her her face would stick making cross-eyed faces.

    My favorite advice in this series is the old fashioned crockpots. I guess they’ve been a preferred mormon way of cooking for longer than I thought!

    Comment by Clark — July 2, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  6. (2) It would be better to have a typewritten copy. Do not roll when sending.

    For some reason, that piece of advice just tickled me!

    Comment by Alison — July 3, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  7. While it destroys the delightful puppy-in-the-grass mental image, I think I actually know what that cryptic bit refers to. Miriam has written a story and wants to know how to mail the manuscript to the editor. (What do you think the ms. is? A romance? Filled with promiscuous kissing, high heels, and low-necked ballgowns?)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 3, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  8. Or constipation.

    Comment by Alison — July 4, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  9. Hm, yes. Perhaps a novella about “How I avoided promiscuous kissing at the gate in my high hells and low-necked ballgown by the need to answer the call to prevent constipation.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 4, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

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